Four Wheels Later
Economic Opportunity, Ways to Work
I would like to take the time to thank Ways to Work and HumanKind and for giving me this wonderful opportunity in sustaining self-sufficiency. My family and I (as have so many other families) have been through a lot within these last few years and nothing can feel like success like having your own vehicle. I have waited a long time for the chance to have my own and I’m glad the opportunity has presented itself when it has. This year has been very progressive for my family and I couldn’t say this wouldn’t be perfect timing! Just in time for the holidays and the New Year!
The last four years of my family’s journey have been….interesting to say the least. I am a single mother of two boys, ages 8 and 6. Their father has not been in the picture since my second son’s birth, so I’ve held the weight of mom and dad for a few years now. In addition to raising my family by myself I had to save face on many issues. I had developed a pill addiction, I was seriously depressed with anxiety issues and not to mention we were homeless for a few months in 2010. So at that point I had reached rock bottom. When our apartment came through in October of 2010, I made a commitment to myself and my family that I would do better and become stronger for them, for us. I can honestly look back at my accomplishments for 2014 and proudly say I DID THAT!!!!
Now my current situation is a somewhat complicated one. The boys and I have been living in public housing since October 2010. No, I’m not complaining about the circumstances at hand because my family and I have made serious accomplishments this year. My oldest son has made serious dedication to his obligations, whereas my youngest son’s reading ability has excelled beyond his grade level. Now they both have decided to join the recreational basketball teams, trying to enhance their skills. I am so proud of how positive they have remained throughout our many ups and downs. I myself started with my company as a temporary employee and was promoted 2 months later. I have been using public transportation as a way to work. I usually spend about 1 ½-2 hours of commute to and from work Monday-Friday that also includes walking time. This often works in my favor except for the days that public transportation has glitches in its operation which causes issues with what time I get to work. Luckily for me, my company is very understanding of my transportation situation. I’m just trying to gain reliable transportation before they feel I am using the public transportation as an excuse for being tardy. Not to mention it’s getting blistering cold early this winter. Despite our lifestyle, we are still doing positive things to improve our future.
My goals for my family in the future are simple: Keep moving forward. I have challenged my boys to straight A’s this school year. I am hoping to receive your assistance in sustaining reliable transportation for myself and my family. I am planning on going back to school fall of 2015 to major in nursing. I am hoping to lift my family’s morale. Yes, we are grateful for the progression we have made, but it can be tiring when you aren’t able to function to full capacity. I know with transportation we will be more focused and able to keep moving forward with our goal achievements.
I see this opportunity as the chance to set even higher goals. The fact that I will be in control of my schedule will be so exhilarating! I will be able to elevate the level of standards for myself and my family. I will be able to regulate a more manageable work schedule with my company. I will be able to work more hours and make more income, which will make childcare, more affordable for my boys. It would also make the transition to a different neighborhood/environment a whole lot easier as well. The possibilities are endless in every aspect of life when you have your own transportation.
I would have to say the biggest relief of all would be: stress. I wouldn’t haven’t to worry if the bus will be on time. I wouldn’t have to worry how much time I would miss for my/kids appointments. I wouldn’t have to stress my body by continuing to walk so much, in soon-to-be harsh weather conditions. I will be able to rest well and confidently continue life’s journeys. My boys would experience the benefits of their mother reaching her goals towards self-sufficiency and being able to be in full control of our lives.
Keisha, Ways to Work client
For additional information on the Economic Opportunity Program at HumanKind, please visit our page here.